Adventures in Moving to DC

Monday, December 28, 2015

So tomorrow is the big day--I officially move to DC to join Ryan!  And what better way to put off packing than to write a post about how I should be packing.  For reference, maybe 1/3 of my stuff is in boxes that I shipped to DC from Milwaukee last week and the other 2/3 of stuff is completely covering my bedroom at home. Yayy...

Anyways! The big move is finally here.  And even though the good byes were so hard in Milwaukee, I am finally getting excited (maybe a little bit) about the move.  A lot of people have had a LOT of questions for me about the move and DC in general so--here are some answers.

  1. Ryan is getting his LLM (in ERISA/employee benefits/tax) at Georgetown Law.  It is a year long program and he is already halfway through. 
  2. I am joining him even though there are only five months (thank goodness) left in the program.  Because I graduated in December in a field of study that mainly only hires at the end of the school year/march-ish for the next year (and where will we even be in 5 months? who knows). 
  3. And also because I miss him! And if we don't HAVE to do long distance, we don't want to!
  4. We have no idea where we will be after May.  Truly, no idea.  It's easy to say "oh we will probably stay in DC." But, it could truly be anywhere.  Ryan is working at a firm right now in DC while completing the program but that firm has offices all over the country AND that still doesn't mean that he isn't applying all over the country.
  5. We are getting married in Milwaukee--yes, even though we don't know if we will live there! And yes, that is stressful.
  6. We are essentially willing to move anywhere.  It would be ideal to end up back by our Milwaukee friends or near either of our families, but we don't have a lot of control over that.
  7. I will be nannying full time starting immediately while continuing to applying for counseling jobs in the area. 
I think that's it!  I've given this shpeel a lot over the last few months.  And every response is very similar.  And sounds close to, "Oh, what an amazing adventure!"  It is an amazing adventure.  But, right in this moment as I pack and text my MKE friends, I am a little sad!  However, all of that is out weighed by the overabundance of excitement that we are done with tearful airport good byes, crying on facetime (ryan of course--not me, never), venting and being sad to my mom, grocery shopping alone and the lack of weekly date nights.  I finally will have my parks and rec watching partner back!

Next time I blog--it'll be from DC (and by DC I mean a city outside DC that someone recently told me used to be called....murder city)!

Love and packing!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy fourth week of Bits of Cheer!  Linking up this week for the last one! I can't believe that this is the last week.  I have loved my weekly focus on Advent and the Christmas season.  This Christmas season was so chaotic and the posts really kept my focus on enjoying the celebration with friends and family.  They were my order amongst chaos!  This past week was the big one.  I had the last day of work at two of my jobs.  I sold my car (that I have had since I was 16).  I said good bye to all of my friends.  My parents met my in-laws (or they were all four together for the first time).  I graduated from grad school and got my Master's degree.  WHAT.  That sentence is crazy.  We took our engagement photos (we only got one preview--look how cute)! And, I officially left Milwaukee.  That sentence is the hardest.  A more detailed post to come on the big kahuna of a weekend!
I am dying to see the rest!
My favorite view of the condo--the last night there!
ANYWAYS! I have been home just since yesterday afternoon and it has been stuffed full of Christmas festivities.  When my parents and I got back (we drove from MKE to Omaha), luckily, my sister and her family were at our house--yay JM time!  That little godson of mine has grown SO much in ability, personality, and size since I saw him last in October.  We spent the afternoon and early evening cuddling and giggling with JM.  After he went to bed, Emily and I went to Target (as sisters do) to pick up a couple of random things and to prepare for baby crafting the next day!  After Target, we sat at the bar at a local pizza spot and had a drink while we waited for pizza to take home to the family.  We realized it was the first time we had ever been out just the two of us to get a drink (a free drink, I might add). 
JM being particularly cute
With our free drinks!

We came home and attempted my aunt's famous (to me) peppermint milkshakes!  She is such a sweetheart and sent us candy canes and coffee grinders so that we could grind up the candy canes and make them ourselves this Christmas since we didn't get to see that side of the family this year.  Peppermint milkshakes (vanilla ice cream, candy canes, and milk) are delicious and such a nice treat at the end of a crazy Christmas day!
Our peppermint milkshakes
Today, I went last minute Christmas gift shopping with Emily and finally finished my Christmas shopping!  Buying for 13 year old girls is tough!  We have gotten to spend so much wonderful time together even just in the past 24 hours.  I miss that girl so much when we are apart!  When we got back, we started the JM baby Christmas went better than expected!  And JM was completely enthralled in his puffs while we worried about his green feet!
JM already LOVES crafts!
Ignore this blurry snapchat quality--but look at that lil foot!

Now, we just get to spend the rest of the week prepping for Christmas and working on special surprises for the week (and trying not to think about the big looming DC move).  We are also praying for Preston and Stephen...little baby Stephen is ready to come into this world a little early and we are praying for a healthy, happy mama and baby! 
Best way to end an evening at home

Love and chaotic Christmas details!



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Happy week 3 of Bits of Cheer!  Linking up with Jessica, Alisha, and Amy today--

This past week I watched about as many ABC family Christmas movies as humanly possible.  Thank you, Netflix!  I also went to see Nigh Before--is there a movie with Seth Rogen when he doesn't do drugs?  If you're in the mood to laugh at a bunch of ridiculousness, I recommend it! 

I am currently sick with the stomach couldn't have been worse timing!   This is my last week in Milwaukee and I have so much to do and so many people to say good bye to.  This upcoming week is going to be awesome-crazy!  All the Session's and some of the Isom's come to Milwaukee on Friday, graduation on Saturday, engagement photos on Sunday, AND driving to Omaha on Monday for Christmas! 

So, here's hoping the flu symptoms are gone ASAP and I am able to get this incredibly long to do list completed! 

Enjoy all of my nail polish photos from this week!

Love and saltine crackers!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Just a brief interruption of your Saturday to let you know---

I have attended my last graduate class.

My portfolio passed.

And I JUST submitted my very last assignment.

A week from this very moment I will have my Master's!

Okay, carry on with your day! 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happy Tuesday!  This morning I am linking up with Jessica, Amy, and Alisha for week two of the Bits of Cheer linkup!  This past week I had so much fun celebrating the Christmas and Advent season! 

1. Ryan surprised me with this amazing Advent calendar!  I was shocked when it came in the mail last Thursday.  It is completely perfect for me--I am nail polish obsessed!  And I had just sent all of my polish to DC so it was impeccable timing!  It has been so much fun opening each little door every morning.  I have also been attempting to use the new polish each day.  I am such a lucky lady.  It was such a thoughtful gift for me and I never grew up doing individual Advent calendars so this is a particularly nice treat!  So here you go (I started on the fourth)---
This is just a pot of loose glitter and I am in love!  I poured it all over my nails after applying a top coat and I can't stop looking at them!

2. I also hosted a pregame for the Marquette basketball game on Saturday for all of my friends and their husbands!  It was so much fun to host an event (even a little one) when the Christmas decorations are up.  It was a great practice run through for when my parents, future in laws, and grandma come to visit the weekend after next (and Ryan, too)!  I will preface this pictures with saying that I am not a big drinker, Ryan hardly drinks so in turn I hardly drink, but when there is day drinking and champagne involved only once a year, I indulge with my friends (minus Emily who has a bun in the oven)!
(That bottle was almost empty--for the record! I just want to show off my MU bow)

3. I mentioned last week that every year I have taken Ryan out on a Christmas themed date.  This year, since he isn't here, my lovely friends Emily and Ashley volunteered!  They are the absolute sweetest and I will miss them dearly when I leave.  I gave them little Christmas gifts, we built a gingerbread house, watched the Santa Claus (the best Christmas movie of all time), went to the Public Market to see the gingerbread house contest, walked around the Christmas lights in the area parks, and then ate Santa shaped noodles!  It was Christmas overload and such a treat to spend a fun Sunday afternoon/evening with them!

This next week I don't have a lot of "Christmas" things week is mostly filled with good bye's as I near the end of my time in Milwaukee!  But, I am so excited to share all of our family holiday traditions next week! 

Love and gingerbread houses (I will have built 3 by the time the month is over)!


BITS OF C H E E R: Week 1

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today I am linking up with Jessica, Amy, and Alisha for Bits of Cheer!  I have been following Jessica's blog for a while now (she totally inspired my new lipstick kick) and just started to check out Amy and Alisha's blogs this past week!  I am so excited for this link up because I love everything about the month of December!

Through the hubbub of packing, cleaning, and organizing yesterday, I finally got to put up my Christmas tree!  It is it's 4th year and even though it's starting to look a little more bare, I love it all the same.  My favorite part is laying out all the wrapped presents for friends and family underneath it when I'm done (especially because my presents have usually already been wrapped for quite a while)! 

This year I upped my decoration game up to include stuff for the kitchen and the bathroom because my parents and future in-laws will be visiting (along with my grandma) and I want everything to look perfect.  I also couldn't pass up this Santa tray and matching glasses because I am hosting a Marquette pre-game before the basketball game this Saturday.

Christmas time is my very favorite because it is filled with SO many wonderful traditions with my wonderful family and is starting to fill with special memories with Ryan, too.  The Isom's have a LOT of Christmas traditions and I am implementing a few new ones with Ryan--like a Christmas date and stocking exchange!  This year I splurged for matching stockings (of course last year Ryan had to one up me in the stocking game with getting me a monogrammed one---such a thoughtful way to make me look bad in the exchange :)) so this year I bought a matching one for him. 

The Isom traditions are many and so special.  As we get closer to Christmas, and closer to when we will be together, I plan on blogging all about them.   But, for now I don't want to get too homesick!

I always take Ryan on a Christmas date when his finals are over, but since this year we will be apart my lovely friends have volunteered to be my dates so we are going on Sunday!  This lovely photo is from one of them!  He's such a trooper.

This year, I am also especially excited because we are taking our engagement photos five days before Christmas!  We are dressing extra Christmas-y and taking some of the pictures in front of huge pine trees so I am VERY excited! 

Have a wonderful Tuesday (and please look past the horrible photo quality)!

Love and Christmas M&M's,


P.S. I still have no idea why my photos won't stay centered?


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The best part of this thanksgiving season is that it's one of the first I've really embraced and celebrated in a long time.  I will admit that next year I will probably put my tree up before Christmas again, but I really enjoyed my gratitude practice this month.  I wrote up a collaborative list with all of my daily thanksgivings and it made me so happy.  I am truly a blessed woman.  And even though I wasn't able to spend my thanksgiving this year with my own family, I was lucky enough to get to spend it with Ryan's extended family! 

So without further ado, my last few days of the thanksgiving season!

November 24th: A wonderful place to live--the condo I live in right now is truly a blessing! Ryan's parents own it and are letting me stay in it for free. It has a beautiful view of the city and really feels like home. 

November 25th: My health--I am so grateful for fairly good health, other that absolutely needing dental work done! This year (knock on wood) I haven't gotten the nasty cough I typically do around this time and I am so grateful for that!! 

November 26th: My family (and my soon to be family)--this is one of the first thanksgivings I haven't been with my family and it has been so hard! But, Ryan's extended family located in MD and VA welcomed me with open arms today. Neither of us were able to be with our parents and it was so nice to be with his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandpa!! They have plenty of traditions too which was a great distraction from missing my own! 
And this adorable screenshot I took of JM today! 


Love and turkeys!


Tuesday Thanks

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It has been a while!  My last week has been so chaotic.  A lot of the chaos was in my head, but the past couple of days have been filled with prep for graduation and the beginning of prepping for the big move to DC (less than a month--that's crazy)!  I have been meeting with my advisor, purging my closet, applying for as many jobs as I can every day, and slowly working through the last few assignments I have to complete before graduation.  Rather than overwhelm myself (and you) with agonizing detail of the stress of all of it...I have my second to last thankfulness post to write!  It's crazy to me how fast November has flown by!

November 17th: My mom--seriously I don't know what I would do without her.  This past week, in particular, she has been amazing talking to me every day even when I was an emotional best.  She (and Emily) are really the only people I ever trust to give me sound advice and she has really been there for my, always, but even more so in my time of crazy need.  It was also so relieving to hear her tell me that I finally sounded back to my old self after everything that happened in DC.  I can't wait to see her next month!

November 18th: Emily--I am so thankful for Emily EVERYDAY but even more so last Wednesday.  Through all of the DC craziness, Emily has been one of the very few people that has known exactly what to say and has offered amazing support.  Her support and advice has really helped me find peace and let go a lot of the fear that I was holding on to.  Lately, I've been feeling much more like a little sister than a big sister :)

November 19th: Being able to sleep in--I feel ridiculous but the one plus of one of my nanny families moving away is that most morning I don't have to set an is a gorgeous and wonderful temporary luxury that I am not taking for granted!  I am ready to be back working 40 hours a week soon but for the time being...I'm going to enjoy myself!

November 20th: the first snow--I love the first snow of the year.  It is the most peaceful and happy moment for me every winter.  This year, I was babysitting for a new family and wishing I was with Ryan watching a Christmas movie in front of our tree, but instead I watched a lot of hallmark Christmas movies while getting paid for it---so that was okay too! 

November 21st: Baby quilting--so when Emily told us that she was having a baby I immediately jumped into making my first ever baby quilt with Mrs. G (the mom of the family I lived with last year) and it was so much fun---it was a chaotic learning experience, but a fun one for sure!  So when Stephen and Preston called with the good news that there would be another baby joining the family, I anxiously awaited the gender call (I am desperately waiting to make a beautiful pink and floral baby quilt) and set out to shop for fabric with my quilting guru, Mrs. G!  We are working our way through it little by little and got some serious work done on it this weekend!  It needs to be finished by the move date so we are hustling but I can't wait to see baby Stephen laying on it when he gets here!  That was the very best part of giving JM his quilt!
Working on Baby Stephen's quilt and JM on his quilt
November 22nd: The G's---Speaking of Mrs. G...the G's are amazing family friends of the Session's (my future-in-law's) and welcomed me into their home last year when I needed to quit teaching to complete my (unpaid) internship.  I've known then the entire duration of Ryan and I's relationship and they have become like a second family to me.  They have three kids/adults (Mikey, Aubrey, and Hannah) who are all standing up in our wedding (and Ryan is Mikey's best man this July) and they have become like siblings!  I was and am so lucky to have them.  Especially, when they have me over for awesome dinners and give me amazing insight on anything I am struggling with at the time.  They deserve their very own post because everyone should get to know the amazingness that is the Giammarco family! (coming soon)
Aubrey, Hannah, and I two summers ago

November 23rd: Grad school--I have a love/hate relationship with grad school.  It is an amazing accomplishment that I am really proud of, but it is also keeping me away from Ryan!  I am really excited to have this finished and am really proud of myself but mostly I am ready to never again ever ever have homework :)  I am so close yet so far!

Phew! I now have that feeling after a long conversation with someone where you feel like you did all the talking...if you made it through that post kudos to you!  Hopefully the next post you read has me talking about being done with even more homework (and maybe a job interview lined up)! 

Happy Thanksgiving! Love and mashed potatoes--

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